Expo 2020 Dubai a ray of light for world under ‘dark cloud’ of pandemic

International leaders have praised the first world’s fair to be held in the Middle East

International leaders have declared Expo 2020 Dubai a beacon of hope amid the “dark cloud” of the Covid-19 pandemic

The world’s fair has proved to be a huge success since opening to the public on October 1, attracting more than eight million visits.

It has offered a platform for countries from all corners of the globe to share their culture, customs and plans for a brighter future.

Organisers have vowed to continue to allow visitors to enjoy the event safely despite a rise in Covid-19 cases.

Expo’s star-studded festive schedule drew in big crowds. Concerts featuring the likes of singer-songwriter Alicia Keys have cemented its status as a leading attraction for international tourists as well as those who live in the Emirates.

The second half of its six-month run will include Global Goals Week, from January 15 to 22, the first to be held away from the UN’s New York headquarters

Sustainability and equality will be high on the agenda during Expo’s latest theme week.

Expo wins global support

“At a time when there is a dark cloud, you have presented a real vision for what we can do to recover better, for how the world can look beyond the UAE – beyond your neighbourhood – into this global community. You’ve given hope and a sense of dignity to everyone that has participated in this Expo,” said Amina Mohammed, deputy secretary general of the UN.

Emmanuel Macron, President of France, said the safe hosting of the world’s fair was a boost to the global community.

“We’re very happy to be here, and I want to congratulate the UAE for this Expo, because at a time when we see Covid-19, and so many threats and issues, organising the Expo here and making it a success – because it’s already a success – is good for your country. It’s good for everybody.”

President Macky Sall of Senegal said the global gathering was welcome.

“Our world, plunged into a deep economic gloom, certainly needs this ray of light to bring back some colour and help rebuild hope for a better future,” he said.

“In this sense, the universal Expo is both a showcase for nations and a factor for peace and dialogue between cultures and civilisations. This is what Expo 2020 is all about.”

Wavel Ramkalawan, President of the Seychelles, also lauded the significance of a successful Expo.

He said the event was “a beacon for global optimism, for responsible and sustainable world development, for nations standing together against adversity, for personal and collaborative creativity, for the unique beauty of human harmony and – most importantly – friendship, communication and recognition that – when it comes to determining a healthy future for planet Earth – we are all in this together, from the largest nation to the smallest.”

King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden, who toured his country’s pavilion at Expo last month, offered a royal seal of approval.

“Expo gives us the possibility to develop innovative solutions not just for the good of our own country but for the global market and global good. It is a true opportunity for co-creation, for innovation. I’m confident that the partnership created here at the Expo will strengthen co-operation between Sweden and the UAE and the countries of the world, and that we will be able to generate new ideas and solutions together.”

His sentiments were echoed by King Letsie III of Lesotho.

“Expo 2020 Dubai will succeed in its noble mission of connecting minds, and as a result of that achievement, an incubator will be created that will hatch sustainable solutions to our common problems – solutions that will hopefully create a more prosperous and peaceful future for us all,” he said.

Updated: January 1st 2022, 3:25 PM